A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 11, 2008

Bocoles are a form of gordita that are found in the Huasteca region of Mexico (San Luis Potosi and Veracruz). These masa (corn dough) and pork lard snacks have various fillings.
Bocoles are rarely served in Mexican restaurants in the United States and have not achieved the Americanized popularity that gorditas have.
Traditional Foods of San Luis Potosi
Gorditas—there’s an amazing variety of them in SLP, including:
Bocoles—cooked biscuit-like items made from cornmeal and lard, and later stuffed with macerated meat, potato, cactus slivers, beans, pig meat, eggs, etc.
Chinas—uncooked biscuit-like cornmeal packets stuffed with mole, cheese, etc. and then baked in a wood-burning oven
The Spanish Language: Food
bocoles m Little round sandwiches    
Masa Cakes from Veracruz
Category: Masa Dough Snacks
Makes 12 bocoles
Patricia Quintana, cookbook author and cooking instructor from Mexico City, has been a friend and source of information about Mexican cuisine for many years. Patricia taught me to make bocoles, fat little masa cakes that are served with eggs and sausage for breakfast in the Huasteca region of Veracruz, where Patricia’s family owns a ranch. Sometimes bocoles are stuffed with cheese or beans.
1 cup masa harina, (flour for corn tortillas)
1/2 cup lukewarm tap water
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt (...)
Mexico Connect
By Rhonda Tranks
We made bocoles (little cakes of corn masa with enough lard to make them sinfully moreish), more of her baked fish, and shrimp stuffed with zaragalla a local specialty of shredded fish cooked with herbs, spices, tomato and chile. This was all served with Veracruz style black beans and wonderful coffee.
Google Books
Las Pastores: A Mexican Play of the Nativity
Translation, introduction and noted by M. R. Cole
Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin and Company
Pg. 184:
Possibly bocoles, or “tortillas gruesas fritas en manteca de res.” Diccionario de Mejicanismos.
27 July 1989, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA):
The richness that homemade lard imparted to Quintana’s bocoles (little masa cakes), bunuelos (fritters), beans and some sauces was unmistakable.
Google Books
by Pat Sparks and Barbara Swanson
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
Pg. 114:
“After the Spanish conquered Mexico, the most noticeable shift was in their cuisine. It was a happy one that included the transformation of tortillas; after being fried or sprinkled with chorizo (a Spanish pork sausage), they turned into garnachas, chalupas, sopas, tostadas, tacos, enchiladas, chilaquiles, infladas, molotes, bocoles and pellizcadas.”
—RAYMOND SOKOLOV, “How to Eat Like an Aztec,” from Natural History magazine
Google Books
Mexico 1995
by Berkeley Travel Staff
Berkeley, CA: Fodor’s Travel Publications
Pg. 478:
The most popular dish is bocoles con huevo (fried dough filled with egg, $2).
31 March 1996, Roanoke (VA) Times, “Veracruz has the flavor of Vanilla,” pg. G8:
Huasteco Indian treats called “bocoles” are tiny tortillas stuffed with seafood, egg, or ham that are great for breakfast or snacking.
Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking 
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: “RobinWoodSolita”

Date: 1998/09/16
Subject: Re: Corn Tortillas
I have not found shops in UK that supply Masa de Harina. What we did was look on the back of a packet of supermarket tortillas and phone up the company that made them.  They agreed to sell us small quantities but to be honest the flour was a bit yellow and they made dry leathery tortillas. The flour was much better used to make Bocoles and Gorditas.
Food Product Design (November 2000)
Latin American Foods: Livin’ la Comida Loca
By Susheela Uhl
Contributing Editor
Snacking is common in Latin regions. Throughout the day, street vendors and restaurants sell antojitos, or botanos, called “little cravings.” These snacks, and their numerous regional variations in Mexico, are made from masa (corn dough). They include tortas, tacos with barbecued meat or bean fillings, sopes, fresh-roasted corn with lime and chile powder, gorditas (tortilla deep fried in lard with black beans, guacamole and salsa), bocoles (fried masa with cheese and chorizo), chalupas (cone-shaped tortilla with toppings), fresh-cut fruits and tostones.
11 November 2001, Washington (DC) Post, “A taste of Mexican”:
Then there is the bocoles de frijol, a saucer-size pancake of cornmeal and black beans; it’s a comforting partnership sparked with diced onions and ...
This place specializes in interpretating the cooking from the Huastec regions of (the eastern parts of) the state (Huastec country also covers the northern parts of Veracruz and the south of Tamaulipas). They have a “Plato Tamazunchale” which includes 2 bocoles (the round masa cake typical of the Huasteca), cecina and Huastec-style enchiladas (not the same as the Potosi-style enchiladas).
RST Feb 08, 2003 08:06PM
Google Books
Word of the True Peoples:
Anthology of Contemporary Mexican Indigenous-Language Writers
by Carlos Montemayor and Donald H. Frischmann
Austin, TX: University of Texas Press
Pg. 247:
Bocoles. Generic name for a typical food of the Huasteca region made from corn, salt, chile, and lard, particularly pork lard; bocoles take the shape of round and thick cakes.
Veracruz Chronicles
Monday, September 05, 2005
Ya llegamos…We are here!
Mark- This is like the calm after the storm, as we sit on the picturesque plaza, eating bocoles (Veracruz version of gorditas) and enchiladas, after a grueling trip with too much luggage.
Bocoles (Fresh Corn Pancakes)
from Heaven’s Banquet by Miriam Kasin Hospodar
3 c corn kernels (I used a mix of fresh and frozen)
1/2 c cornmeal
2 Tbsp chickpea flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp to 2 Tbsp melted margarine or oil (optional)
2 tsp to 2 Tbsp margarine or oil for frying (optional)
Blend corn, cornmeal, chickpea flour, salt, and optional margarine/oil in a food processor, adding just enough water to make a thick batter.
Heat margarine or oil, if using, in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it out a bit. Let the bottom cook until it’s golden brown and firm before flipping, otherwise they’ll fall apart. Cook until browned on the other side and then eat as soon as possible.
As far as size and servings go, the book says to make 2’’ pancakes. I obviously made mine bigger, probably 4-5’‘. I halved the recipe and got 3 pancakes of this size. That served me well for lunch, but maybe I’m just a glutton and other people would only eat one. In any case, I’m saying that the recipe serves 2-4 depending on the size of the pancakes and the size of your appetite. Also, I left the margarine/oil out of the batter, and just used 1 tsp of Earth Balance to fry half the batch. I didn’t find them lacking in any way, so I probably won’t add include it in the future either. 
Posted by Amanda on June 26, 2006 at 10:53 PM
The Mintor (McAllen, TX)
Buen Viaje: Consulate trip to Ciudad Valles creates greater understanding, new friendships
Travis M. Whitehead
May 4, 2007 - 4:49PM
Inside the city hall, we were treated to a late night pot luck dinner of regional favorites such as bocoles — Huastecan gorditas made of black beans — ajonjolinadas con cecina, ceviche de palmito, and zacahuil, a huge tamale made of pork, beef and various herbs and spices cooked in a large banana leaf.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Monday, February 11, 2008 • Permalink

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